Warning – this is a rant post. Usually I don’t rant much because I don’t like to dwell on the negative, but this guy is a serious jackass and I just have to vent. Last week, Jenny, one of our readers, forwarded me an article from Yahoo! Voices – Why I happily spend $440 a month on my cable package.
Wow! That’s a lot of money to spend on cable every month. Just to put it in perspective, if he invest $440/month and has a 6% ROI instead, he would have $171,287 to put toward his kids’ college education in 18 years. He’d better have some great reasons why he’s spending so much on cable. We pay Comcast $40 every month just for the internet access and I think that’s already too much. BTW, I mainly use it for blogging so I can write the bill off as business expense.
Here is Ben’s opening:
Welcome to my home: Pandora radio is echoing classic jazz music off the walls. My son, 2 1/2 years old, is watching “The Jungle Book” on the big screen in the living room while my daughter, 1 1/2, enjoys “Barbie in the Nutcracker” on the family room’s television. In the nursery my youngest daughter — she’s an infant — has finally fallen asleep to the soothing sounds of Pandora. Where am I?
This doesn’t bode well for his kids. He’s using multiple TVs to babysit his kids and it will have long term repercussions. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that children under 2 should avoid television completely and older kids limit screen time to one or two hours per day. Studies have shown that excessive screen time can lead to attention problems later on.
Speaking from experience, Baby RB40 is already ignoring 99% of what I say and he doesn’t even have a $440 cable package. He only watches snippets of news, Jeopardy, and some PBS cartoons. He is too energetic so he really can’t sit and watch TV for long. He can stay put for about 15 minutes when Wild Kratts comes on and that’s about it. After that, he’ll be running around or crashing his cars & trains. That’s one reason why I’m not getting an iPad for our kid.
Too much TV is not good
Ben didn’t tell us exactly how much TVs his kids watch each day, but it sounds like a lot. It’s a bad idea to park your young children in front of the TV for an extended period of time, but maybe he doesn’t have any other choices. He mentioned that he is recently separated from his wife and it has to be extremely difficult to deal with 3 kids. I guess you have to do what you have to do, but he should at least have the decency to feel guilty about it like the rest of us. Here are just some problems that can develop from watching too much TV as a kid.
- Attention problems – The aforementioned attention problems include short attention span, poor concentration, and being easily distracted. The kids might be easier to handle now, but there will be a lot of problems when they start school.
- Obesity – He is training his kids to lead a sedentary lifestyle. Sitting in front of the TV is a fast track to obesity. Studies have shown that the more TV children watch, the more likely they are to gain excess weight. That’s not surprising, is it? Especially with the junk food we consume while watching the tube.
- Violence– Kids who view violent acts are more likely to show aggressive behavior. OK, I’m guilty of this one. We have been watching quite a few Kung Fu movies lately. I’d better cut back a bit. Last week, one guy got killed by an explosion in a movie and Baby RB40 promptly announced – “dead.”
- Commercials – Companies know how to market to kids. The more your kids watch TV, the more products you’ll be asked to buy. Luckily, we only watch cartoons on PBS so Baby RB40 isn’t exposed to a lot of commercials right now.
OK, I’m not saying we should cut TV off completely, but you can’t just park your kids in front of the TV and be proud of it. Ben’s article sounds like it’s bought to you buy Comcast and he should mention that if it’s the case.
Enjoy Summer while you can
The summer is here and it’s frigging beautiful right now. Why the heck would you want to be cooped up inside? Just these last few days, we were all over the great outdoors:
- -$6 Visited the Grotto – “ beautiful 62-acre Catholic shrine and botanical garden in Portland, OR.”
- $0 Smell the roses at the International Rose Test Garden. The roses are blooming and it’s just beautiful up there.
- $0 Ran around various playgrounds and had a great time.
- $0 Listen to free live music at Pioneer Square – Tyler Stenson was pretty darn good. You can get 3 free songs from his site right now!
- $0 Got a free tattoo (temporary) at the Festival of Flower.
- -$4.50 Ate a pound of fresh cherries from the farmer market.
- $0 Splashed at the Teachers Fountain while watching Nia dance. Hey, we’re paying $475,000/year to run this park so we might as well enjoy it.
- +$10 Made 10 bucks for test driving the Ford electric vehicle near PSU. Score!
Anyway, the guy should get out more with his kids. Baby RB40 is happiest when he is outdoors and I’m sure he would spend all day outside if he could. TV makes a bad babysitter and you shouldn’t rely on it unless you have no other choice.
Sorry for ranting, but I can’t imagine wasting money like that…. Have a great weekend and please don’t spend it cooped up inside!